Where do stories start?

With my most recent venture into the written and drawn arts, I’m finding myself torn at ends with decisions on the writing.
The biggest problem I have when writing is where to start the story?
Obviously things begin at the beginning, but sometimes it honestly isn’t the place you feel is best to start.

I enjoy beginnings of stories. I like to see where an author thought was the best place to start a story and how they evolve it from there.

I love getting to points where the author reveals something, that you think is no big deal to the characters.
Then goes back and shows this thing and how it was put into fruition in the first place. In that moment you sit staring at it like “Oh my goodness, I know what happens and I can’t do anything. You are going to do this thing and it will end like this… ”
You know, Dramatic Irony. I love it. I eat it up.
It’s something I always want to put into my works in some regard because I know people get hooked on it like a drug.
Anyway, it brings me to the whole nature of the point. Where do you start writing? Do you start at the beginning? Telling the story of the events as they happen and revealing everything as it comes along? Or do you start somewhere in the middle, revealing things and then going back to explain them to people making them so much more dramatic when you finally understand that the villian hates the hero because he knocked his ice cream out of his hands. Though you go back further to see why the hero did it in the first place. Like it was poisoned. So now you have this viewpoint at first, and then go forward later to see it in a different light.
What about those stories that start at what seems like the end. You know, the death of a character you haven’t yet met. As they explain how it all came to this? Flashing back to the beginning or the middle, or wherever they seem it important to start. At that point you sit through the entire experience waiting for the inevitable. You grow fondly for this character of whom you know will die at some point. You wonder when it will come. Why it will come. For what reason you have to lose this person you grow a deep caring sensation for that could be conditioned as love. Is that weird? Not really.
Where ever a person starts the story it always has it’s ups and downs.

Start at the beginning and you miss a lot of Dramatic Irony moments. But hey, maybe you’re not good at writing that kind of thing. You do get a lot of care put into your characters developments. People start to like them more because they feel like they’ve been with them for the entire journey. The hook for the story seems kind of weak.
Start in the middle and you get Dramatic Irony and you get just a bit of character caring, but not as much as you would get from starting at the beginning. You get kind of the best of both worlds. It does seem to have a better hook. You leave questions along the way such as why are they here? What is going on? Why is this a thing?
Then starting at the end. Can you really do that? I mean you technically go back to start at a different point anyway, but you are giving the readers a viewpoint into the distant future of the story to leave them with this dramatic irony that builds up and builds up. It seems to have all of the ups, and the only down side is everyone knows where it is going. The meta-reading in this point kills some stories. They come to some point where the character could die, but it wouldn’t be the same as the death at the beginning. You would over look it and be like “Oh they’ll make it. Then they will keep going and die somewhere else.” I mean it ruins the narrative a bit. But geez, does it hook a person. You care for the character the whole way through. You know they will eventually die, and you wonder if maybe they will get out of the situation pitched at the beginning. You know it will lead there and you ask, why is it there? What did they do? You see the things building up to said death. Though you know the entire time, they will die eventually.
I don’t know. I’m tired of writing about this. I feel like the start at the end thing is the strongest form, but it just holds that Meta for the reader. That is one thing that turns me off. Also, I don’t know where my story might lead. With that form you could end up writing yourself out of your own ending. Wouldn’t that be awkward?
I think people that write from the beginning can either not know anything about their story, or know everything about and still make a good story out of it.
People who write from the middle either don’t know enough, and want to discover it as they write, or they know just enough to get started. Like they know the beginning, they just don’t know the end. They also want the Dramatic Irony. (Sweet sweet Irony.)
And the people who start at the end obviously know their story from start to finish. Otherwise they hold the potential of messing themselves up as they go through it all.
I don’t know. Opinions?

I’m all out of text.

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2 thoughts on “Where do stories start?

  1. I start with characters, and I think of things that I would really like to see this character doing/feeling/saying. Then I start writing about those instances. I take special care during these “character building” moments; I want the core of my creation to remain as I envisioned. However, some of my characters do things and react to the situation in a completely different manner than I had intended.

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